ChatGPT Eliminates Busy Work for Students

Since the launch of ChatGPT, students as well as faculty members are adapting to new ways of learning. Universities all over the country are adapting to the challenges that this new technology presents. 

Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, or ChatGPT, was launched on November 30 2022. It is a tool that allows users to enter prompts and receive images, text or videos created by Artificial Intelligence. ChatGPT opens a world of opportunities for many different purposes such as answering questions, writing emails, coding, summarizing articles and more. This relatively new technology provides many advantages for student’s learning, but also threatens student’s academic integrity, creativity, and the development of critical thinking skills. With many opportunities for learning but also for cheating, navigating ChatGPT has been difficult for many universities. Here’s how Hunter professors and students are taking advantage of AI technology in the classroom and in learning. 

A team of faculty members, including Professor Coralie Carlson, who teach different aspects of the class, News Literacy in a Digital Age, are working together to implement ChatGPT into their curriculums. ‘We are all very concerned about it, and are interested in ChatGPT and its role in the classroom and in our curriculum,” Carlson said. 

Faculty members are still learning how to navigate this new technology and use it to their and their students’ advantages. “The world and the larger academic community is still figuring out the productive uses of chatGPT in the classroom, so I think that’s an area of experimentation,” she said. 

Since its launch, ChatGPT has changed learning at Hunter College for many students. Many students are currently using Chat GPT for literary purposes such as summarizing articles, editing work and structuring essays. It is a tool for learning that many professors are encouraging students to appropriately use in their learning. 

“‘We are also using it to encourage students to help them proof their own work and do revisions. I think it’s important that students write their own original first draft, and so they are working with their ideas, but there are ways to ask ChatGPT for help with grammar,”’ Carlson said. 

Computer science majors are using ChatGPT when finding errors in their coding. Tomo Mensendiek said that he only uses ChatGPT for coding at school. “I’m taking computer science classes, and if you just paste your code and the error then it will tell you what’s wrong. So to fix things mostly,” he said. 

Mensendiek said that professors tell students to try ChatGPT first for coding problems and then if they continue to have difficulties they can ask professors for help. ‘Often professors have many students and so it takes time to respond to all students with errors that ChatGPT can fix easily’ He said. Professor Carlson says that she is very excited for ChatGPT for coding uses. “I’m much more excited about it as a programming tool, and how it can help people who are not proficient coders to write actual code,” she said. 

Film student Shivonne Rosas says that she only uses ChatGPT for summarizing readings that she doesn’t want to read herself. “It’s sort of a lazy way out but that’s the only way I use it. If I want to learn, I’m going to learn it my way, I don’t really want to learn it through something else like ChatGPT,” Rosas said. Many students at Hunter are taking responsibility for their own learning in appropriate ways by using ChatGPT. 

Hunter’s Office of Student Advising has clear rules and policies for students on the use of AI to uphold academic integrity and prevent plagiarism. Sophomore film student, Shivonne Rosas, said that a lot of professors recently have said that students can use ChatGPT, but not for writing essays. “I think that there is a boundary of what you can and can’t use it for. I think it’s pretty clear,” Rosas Said. 

Sudi Shayeste, the Director of the Office of AccessABILITY, said ChatGPT is a fascinating tool that can generate various kinds of content, but it is not a substitute for creativity and critical thinking. “The quality and usefulness of ChatGPT output depend on many factors and also have some limitations and ethical issues that students should be aware of,” she said. 

‘‘I think it is a tool that students will need to know how to use and how to use effectively. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s good to dedicate busy work to technology,” Carlson said.

ChatGPT and AI technology and its role in learning and universities curriculums is changing the way students are studying at school. “It’s a brand new world that’s opening up and sometimes that can be very challenging but there are also some very interesting things that come out of it,” Carlson said. 

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